Hubbardton Forge is a premier designer and domestic manufacturer of hand-forged premium lighting fixtures and accessories, serving both the residential and commercial markets.
Hubbardton’s shareholders were looking for a partner to assist with growth and succession in their business but wanted to maintain their independence. Because of this, they only considered private equity transactions and were not interested in strategic buyers. Lineage’s approach—which leaves control of the Board of Directors with the existing shareholders even if Lineage owns a majority of the economics— appealed to the shareholders as it uniquely enabled them to achieve all of their transaction objectives.
During Lineage’s investment period, the decorative lighting industry experienced significant declines resulting from the U.S. recession. Despite these headwinds, Lineage and Hubbardton’s management worked to enhance the company’s competitive position, taking steps that included building a comprehensive outbound sales and marketing effort (from zero to 40 independent sales reps) and implementing lean manufacturing processes, which resulted in facility consolidation and improved margins.
We exited our investment in Hubbardton through a sale to a private equity firm. The company not only successfully weathered the recession, but thrived and grew significantly as a result of the strategic initiatives undertaken along with consistent reinvestment made to maintain its industry-leading design advantage.
Investment Date: October 2007
Exit Date: November 2013
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